Prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck convicted in fatal overdoses of 2 Black men

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Ed Buck, the prominent political donor who was arrested in connection with a pair of fatal overdoses at his home, was convicted on all nine federal charges against him Tuesday.

Buck was convicted of two counts of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, four counts of distribution of methamphetamine, one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises and two counts of enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.

Each of the charges for distribution of drugs resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, and the maximum sentence is life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the Department of Justice.

It was at the West Hollywood apartment of Buck, who was a donor to multiple Democratic politicians locally and on a national scale, where Gemmel Moore, 26, died in 2017 and Timothy Dean, 55, died in 2019.

Prosecutors claim Buck supplied the fatal doses in both cases, and he was arrested in September 2019. Buck’s trial on federal charges related to drugs and the men’s deaths began earlier this month.

Prosecutors allege Buck, 66, would pay men experiencing homelessness, frequently Black men, to come to his apartment and use drugs and engage in sexual acts, oftentimes tied to his fetish for injecting others with methamphetamine.

“Buck’s preference was to personally inject victims, and he pressured or incentivized victims to let him do so, sometimes offering large cash bonuses to coerce a victim to agree to an injection or additional injections,” prosecutors said in court papers, according to the Associated Press. “Other times, Buck simply injected victims while they were unconscious.”

The delay in prosecuting Buck after the fatal overdose of Moore in 2017 led to much criticism of then-District Attorney Jackie Lacey, and a federal judge indicated in a ruling that criminal charges could have been brought against Buck in 2017.

Gemmel Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, called the verdict “the best news I ever could have imagined.”

“This is what we wanted from the beginning. He can’t hurt anybody else. That’s all we wanted,” Nixon said.

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